The artists

Pitcha Makin Fellas

The Pitcha Makin Fellas are an art collective based in Ballarat, Victoria. They are Koorie artists and writers whose ancestors hail from different language groups across Australia. They are passionate about culture and community and create vibrant expressions of their personal histories through painting and storytelling.

Since they formed in 2013, the Fellas have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions and their work is represented in public and private collections. They regularly lead community and school-based projects and workshops and have worked on diverse projects for the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne Museum, White Night (Melbourne and Ballarat) and the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.


The exhibition

Join the club

Love it or hate it, Australian Rules Football (AFL) is an important part of our history and culture. In the exhibition Join the club the Pitcha Makin Fellas explore Australia’s favourite sport, looking critically at the corporatisation of the game and issues surrounding masculinity and racism. They also address the importance of footy in bringing regional communities together and acknowledge the role of the AFL in increasing Indigenous participation and leadership in the game.


The artwork

Nations and clubs
synthetic polymer paint on plastic board

The triptych Nations and clubs 2015–2020 consists of three large panels exploring the connection of football to community. The two outer panels (nations) use different symbols to refer to the diversity in the different Indigenous language groups across Australia. The middle panel (clubs) also has a network of symbols but these ones represent the AFL clubs, suggesting that football could be something that connects communities around the country. It also refers to marngrook, a ball game played by Indigenous Australians. Together, the three panels explore the importance of football in bringing communities together.


The process

Nations and clubs was created over a five-year period with input from each of the Fellas who were working in the group over that time, working collaboratively to design and create each panel. To build up the images, they first covered the panels with a base colour and then added details using handmade stamps made from a soft EVA foam. They cut the foam, which is commonly used to make yoga mats, into shapes and stuck these pieces to a corflute base. If you look closely at the artwork, you might be able to see how the Fellas have used smaller stamps to build up larger shapes. The individual Fellas do not take ownership of the stamps they create but share them among the group. When creating a collaborative work such as Nations and clubs, one artist will be responsible for the applying the same stamp. They use paint brushes to apply acrylic paint to their stamps before printing and add different colours and patterns to their work.

Curriculum links

At the end of activity students will have:

  • Explored the practice of the Pitcha Makin Fellas as inspiration to develop themes, concepts and ideas in artworks.
  • Explored how the Pitcha Makin Fellas use materials, techniques and processes to realise to create collaborative artworks.
  • Experimented with printmaking materials, techniques and processes when creating artworks inspired by the Pitcha Makin Fellas artwork Nations and clubs 2015–2020
  • Discussed how their work can be displayed to an audience and created a collaborative artwork for display.
  • Analysed the artwork Nations and clubs 2015–2020 and identified the ways in which symbols and marks reflect the cultures of the Pitcha Makin Fellas

Teacher resources

Join the club
Virtual Artlink 2020

Join the club
Footy template


Join the Team Making Activity


  • Paint
  • Foam
  • Corflute
  • Double sided tape
  • Football templates

Key terms

An object or picture that represents something else.

To work with a group towards the same goal.

An object pressed down to make a mark.

Acrylic paint
A type of paint that can be cleaned up using water. Art Galleries call it “synthetic polymer paint”.

An artwork made up of three separate parts that have a clear relationship to each other, a set of three.

The activity – Join the team

Students will explore the artistic practice of the Pitcha Makin Fellas to create an artwork in response to the work Nations and clubs 2015–2020. They will experiment with printmaking techniques using stamps and work collaboratively to create a display of their finished artwork.


Watch the Pitcha Makin Fellas and Curator Julie McLaren talk about their exhibition Join the club and their artwork Nations and clubs 2015–2020



  1. What stamps can you see? Are there any shapes you can see made from multiple stamps?
  2. Do you think the artwork looks as though it has been created by more than one artist? What makes you think that?
  3. Do you recognise any of the symbols in the artwork?



Think about groups you belong to and what makes you a team. This could be your family, a sporting team or your class. Brainstorm all the elements that make you team. Choose one response from your brainstorm and create a symbol to represent it.



Design a symbol that represents you as part of a team – your symbol must be no larger than a 10 cm x 10 cm square



Create a stamp using foam and corflute. Print your stamp onto your football template using acrylic paint.



Share your stamps with your classmates. Add to your design using a few selected stamps



Work as a class to create a collaborative display incorporating all of the work made by the class. Find an interesting way to connect the football templates.



  • Look at your finished artwork. How does it represent you as part of a team? What does your symbol represent?
  • Who did you collaborative with and why?
  • Which aspects of the project did you find challenging?
  • Which aspects of the project did you find interesting?
  • How would you describe the project to a friend or family member?



Send your displays to the Education team so we can share with the Pitcha Makin’ Fellas. Our email address is artgalleryeducation@ballarat.vic.gov.au

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